The Acid Chronicles: Lactic Acid!

 

Lactic Acid 1

Happy Tuesday readers!  Hoping your weekend was great!

Awhile ago, I posted on alpha hydroxy acids, otherwise known as AHAs and why they are important in skincare. (In case you missed it or need a refresher, click here)  Lactic acid was one of the AHAs mentioned and here’s why this ingredient is great.

Who: Lactic acid

What skin conditions can it help: Aging and hyperpigmentation

Where it comes from: Derived from milk/sugar

Why it’s important: Lactic acid functions as a humectant, which attracts water and hydrates the skin.   It breaks down the bonds between cells that allow for easier exfoliation of the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.   It also reduces hyperpigmentation due to its ability to suppress the formation of tyrosinase ( the enzyme involved in melanin production).  Because its molecular structure is bigger than glycolic acid, it’s an ideal ingredient to use for those who have sensitive skin because it permeates into the skin slowly, reducing the chances of irritation and inflammation.

How it’s used: Lactic acid can be found in skincare products (i.e. cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums) and also in professional treatments like chemical peels.  *Like any other exfoliating agent, limit use to a few times per week, wear sunscreen and use caution when using ingredients containing retinol as this can irritate skin.

If you follow my Instagram, you’ll recognize the picture below when I took the Cosmetic Chemistry course at UCLA.  The vial on the right-hand side is what natural lactic acid looks like.

Lactic Acid

I recently joined Twitter (@stephieestie) so feel free to follow me on there too! I’m still learning how to use it, FYI, but I’m sure I’ll get it in no time. 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Stephanie

 

Skin Tip: Simple Sugar Lip Scrub!

Treat your lips to a sweet treat this Valentine’s Day weekend with an easy scrub.  Just combine small amounts of sugar (brown sugar also works) and honey, apply the mixture on your lips and buff away dead and flaky skin.  Remove with warm water and top it off with your favorite lip balm.  The end result?  A soft, kissable pout.  Bonus: Your lip color will apply more smoothly and evenly.

Personal update:  I know I have been MIA for the last few days and I apologize but I was slammed with some kind of variation of the flu.  I’ve been battling a stubborn fever, congestion that makes my head feel it’s ready to explode and a painful ear infection. 😦 I know I have some catching up to do and comments to get back to so please bear some patience-I will get back to you. 🙂

I hope all of you have a lovely weekend and thank you for the support.

Stephanie    

You Want Me To Use An Acid On My Face?

HA2

Back when I was taking my esthetics course, or beauty school as some may recognize it, we had a department open house in which people were welcome to stop by and learn about the services we provided.  We conducted a complimentary skin analysis and invited them to come back and experience a facial that would suit their skin needs. I remember one lady who asked me what I recommended for her combination skin to which I suggested a moisturizer or serum that contained hyaluronic acid.

The look of sheer horror she expressed followed by, “You want me to use an acid on my face?” is something I won’t forget.  I quickly explained that this ingredient was nothing like the battery acid found in a car or those in chemical peels but rather an excellent way to introduce hydration into the skin- she looked relieved.  Nevertheless, perhaps you’ve heard about this ingredient and thought the same thing so here’s the scoop on what makes this ingredient so coveted.

Who: Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

What it is: A glycosaminoglycan (GAG)/humectant that attracts moisture to your skin cells.  It increases the water content in the epidermis by drawing moisture from surrounding air.

Where it’s found: HA is a substance that is naturally found in our bodies.  It cushions and lubricates our joints, eyes and connective tissues.

Look for hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate in skincare ingredients.  Popular fillers like Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane utilize HA as well.

Why it’s important:  As we age, our natural production of HA declines.  HA serves an important role in cell protection, lubrication and maintenance of connective tissue.  It also helps retain moisture  in skin since it can hold 1000 times its weight in water.  Think of it like a drink of water for your skin.  When your skin is dehydrated or dry, our complexion can look aged and feel tight.

How it affects the skin:  HA gives turgor and elasticity to the skin.  Increased water in the skin is the easiest way to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, by plumping up fine lines and wrinkles.  This leads to a more youthful appearance, making it a great anti-aging treatment.  Because it is not an oil, it is virtually ideal f for all skin types, including acne.

Hyaluronic acid doesn’t sound that bad now after all, right?